Dog walkers given advice after two attacks on seal pups in Yorkshire

Dog walkers have been issued with guidance after two seal pups were attacked in separate incidents on the Yorkshire coast.

Two grey seal pups were reportedly attacked by dogs which were off their leads in Kilnsea on Sunday (January 23).

Avid bird watcher Jason Spinks tweeted to say one of the pups was taken to the vets after it was found with a number of puncture wounds following a dog attack.

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He said after the pup had been taken to the vets to be cleaned up, they counted the animal had 24 wounds on its body.

The seal pups were attacked on the Yorkshire coast near KilnseaThe seal pups were attacked on the Yorkshire coast near Kilnsea
The seal pups were attacked on the Yorkshire coast near Kilnsea

He tweeted: "Pretty horrific day to be a Grey Seal pup in Kilnsea with two different off-the lead dog incidents with two different Pups. One got jumped on and a long-staying hauled out originally healthy pup got badly mauled and had at least 11 puncture wounds and bleeding heavily.

"Update: total number of wounds is 24 after a serious clean up at the vets."

Spurn Bird Observatory also tweeted about the incident, saying: "Awful news about dog attacks on seal pups. If visiting the area, please keep your dog on a lead at all times, and encourage others to do the same."

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It also tweeted a link to Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's advice on where and how you can walk your dog around Spurn Point, which is as follows:

Why are some areas of Spurn restricted to dogs?

We know most dog owners are conscientious, and will keep their dogs on leads and pick up their dog poo. However, even the most well-behaved dogs can cause upsets in the natural environment. Here's why:

Dogs are a disturbance to birds. Spurn is home to a fabulous array of protected birds and other species. These animals are increasingly threatened, so protecting areas of land like Spurn, where they can thrive, is really important.

Spurn National Nature Reserve is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. This means that, by law, we have to ensure the delicate ecosystems of the reserve are kept in balance. Dogs can upset this balance by rooting around undergrowth and disturbing animals. Dog poo can change the quality of the soil, which can encourage the wrong sorts of plants to grow.

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We have livestock grazing our land. Not only can dogs disturb or even threaten livestock, there are several nasty diseases which can be transmitted to sheep and cattle via dog poo. At the same time, seal poo can infect dogs with similar nasty illnesses.

Where can I walk my dog?

We're more than happy to welcome canine friends into our Spurn Discovery Centre, so please drop by for a visit! Look out for signs on the reserve which show you where you're able to walk your dog.

If you're after a good beach walk, you can head north from the Discovery Centre along the beach. Enjoy the sea air, big views and spot wildlife on the cliffs and in the water. Just turn around and head back for a cuppa when you're ready!

If you want a circular walk, you can do the Kilnsea Wetlands trail. Head north towards the Blue Bell and continue along Beacon Lane. Then follow the cut paths to the historic sound mirror and Kilnsea Wetlands. See waders, wildfowl and views over Kilnsea. Walk for a short distance along the grass verge until you reach Kilnsea village, and continue back along the path to the Discovery Centre. You'll need to keep your dog on a lead for this walk.

Where's off-limits for my dog?

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You can't walk your dog down to Spurn Point, which is part of Spurn National Nature Reserve. There's a gate as you walk towards Spurn Point from the Discovery Centre - this is where the National Nature Reserve starts. You can't take your dog beyond this point.

If you have any further questions, please contact the team based at Spurn Discovery Centre on 01964 650144.